1860 to 1920

The Early Years:  1860 to 1920

Echo Lake is a naturally occurring glacial lake that is part of the headwaters of the McAleer Creek watershed system. The lake is fed by springs as well as run-off, and flows into Lake Ballinger (which was once known as McAleer Lake).  Around 1862 the federal government opened up the lands in northwest King County for homesteading or for sale at $1.25 per acre.  There was some timber trade, but the area near the lake was marshy and not the best for such commerce. Somewhere around 1900, a shingle mill was established at the north end of Echo Lake. Near the mill in 1910 there was a "railroad camp" listing over 60 workers. This may have been a central location for completing the Interurban line, which was finished all the way to Everett in 1910.  The mill burned down in 1912 and was never rebuilt.  Platted teritory around Echo Lake can be found as early as 1904. The first Ronald School was opened in 1906, the same year the trolley line was finished past

Echo Lake.  By 1910, Echo Lake was starting to gain a rural popularity, owing to the freshly opened Interurban electric trolley.

Interuban Tracks

Taken about 1910, this photograph looks northwest on the Interurban tracks.  The Mowatt Sawmill is in the distance, on the left, the main building covered by steam generated by the sawmill. The mill burned at an unknown date shortly thereafter. The Mowatt family lived just east of the lake, and the children attended Ronald School.

Herman and Minnie Butzke, with young daughter Florence, together with family and friends, line up for a picture at their new house on the west side of Echo Lake.  In the distance, an interurban car, blurred by its speed, crosses the trestle at the northeast end of the lake. The house was built by Herman Butzke.

Heinrich and Amelia Emme, at their home on Echo Lake ca 1910 

1913.  Marian Rogers and her niece pose on the porch of the Rogers Store, built two years earlier in 1911.  Before them is the new North Trunk Road, ready for its brick paving. The store sat facing south at 185th Street, right in the middle of what today would be Aurora Avenue North. 

The North Trunk Road came to their doorway, and then made a west-angled turn toward the Firland Sanatorium, traveled north before angling down the hill near Echo Lake, and made its way to the county line. Some time after 1928 this section became known as "Firland's Way" (meaning the road that belonged to Firland, as its gateway.) There was no through-road going directly past Echo Lake.  

Florence Butzke and cousin Herman Butzke, ca 1914, display dinner, caught in Echo Lake 

Ca 1916, old friends from the Ballard nieghbornood visit for a day of berry picking. From left to right: Freda Stokes; Wanda Parks; and Hattie Parks. Children Bud Parks and Florence Butzke hold Laverne Parks. 

In 1916, Florence Butzke poses for an advertisement brochure for Echo Lake property, demonstrating how wonderful vegetables can be grown near the lake.

Next page 1920 to 1950